UPDATED, Monday AM writethru: 7:40AM update following 6:40AM post Disney is now reporting that the all-time record opening-weekend for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stands at $258.2 million, exceeding both its estimates from yesterday of $250M and the industry’s call this morning at $255M-$257M.
This is after a mindblowing Sunday of $69.2M. All in with an overseas debut of $382.7M (second best-ever), Infinity War stands at an all-time record global opening of $640.9M, eclipsing the previous high of $541.9M set by Universal’s Fate of the Furious. As the 19th MCU release, Infinity War sends the gross of the entire universe to $15.4 billion. It’s been the most lucrative franchise ever at the box office for some time, outstripping Star Wars’ $8.8B worldwide ticket sales through 10 movies (we’re including Star Wars: The Clone Wars).
Star Wars: Force Awakens owned the previous Sunday record of $60.5M. Infinity War‘s revised weekend opening exceeds Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ previous domestic three-day record by 4%. Infinity War‘s Sunday dipped 17% from Saturday’s reported $83M.
Fandango also reports this morning that it sold more than 30% of Infinity War‘s weekend, or roughly $84M, which exceeds its sales for Black Panther‘s first three days (30% of opening weekend B.O. for an estimated $72M). Infinity War marks one of Fandango’s largest shares of weekend box office dollars for any movie in its 18-year history.
“Thanks to Disney’s heroic kickoff to the summer movie season, fans are packing theaters and Fandango’s Infinity sales shows no signs of slowing down this week,” said Fandango president Paul Yanover in a statement. “We are thrilled that millions of moviegoers are taking advantage of Fandango’s social and mobile innovations, worry-free ticketing and the widest choice of theaters available online to guarantee their seats. We look forward to continuing to serve moviegoers with our new Fandango VIP+ rewards program, designed to incentivize advance ticketing for the summer season’s hottest movies.”
PREVIOUS UPDATE, Sunday AM writethru: Disney is officially calling the record for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War‘s opening at $250M, which smokes the studio’s own Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.96M). Rivals agree hands down it’s a record between $248M-$250M.
Infinity War also scored the best Saturday ever with $83M, which is 19% ahead of the previous Saturday record owned by Universal’s Jurassic World ($69.6M, June 13, 2015). Yesterday marked a wonderful -22% ease from Friday’s $106.7M (including $39M Thursday previews). Back those previews out of Friday ($67.7M) and Saturday was +23% over yesterday for the Disney-Marvel title.
Many distribution executives like to use the excuse that tracking can’t predict openings that are this high, and while sometimes that may be true, tracking all along indicated that this Marvel movie was bound to be an all-time record with unaided, definite choice, total awareness and first choice scores outstripping those projection stats of Force Awakens, Last Jedi, Black Panther, Jurassic World, etc.
After seeing Infinity War, Disney execs decided to move the release date for the Marvel pic from May 4 to April 27. Typically foreign goes first on a Marvel title, but with all the major turning points going down in this movie, “the idea that domestic audiences would have to wait while this movie swept the balance of the world, we couldn’t do that to fans,” said Disney worldwide distribution chief Dave Hollis. In addition, going early with Infinity War gave the studio breathing space from other tentpoles this summer, and you can bet that this Russo brothers-directed movie has a three-weekend run at No. 1 until Deadpool 2 opens on May 18.
“This is ten years of work from Marvel’s Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, and Victoria Alonso, who built this universe film by film so that it all comes together in a must-see movie,” said Hollis.
While the gist of the marketing campaign led with the theme of ‘It’s all been leading to this’ with the Marvel all-stars coming together, closer to opening, the promotional theme pivoted to a ‘Thanos Demands Your Silence’ creating a sense of urgency, and spoiler-free environment for fans.
Once again, it’s another weekend where tentpoles play phenomenally outside the summer time frame, and true, many will consider this weekend the start of summer. ComScore reports that 5% K-12 schools were out Friday with another 4% colleges — but do school vacations even mean anything in this box office era? Yes, of course they do especially at the end of the year, but if premium product is on the marquee, the under 25 set will clear their schedules and head to the cinema, school or no school. As AMC boss Adam Aron told us last week at CinemaCon, the industry is on course for a “booming” summer, and Infinity War is just the beginning.
AMC reports that Avengers: Infinity War had the highest Friday and Saturday box office gross for a single title in AMC’s 98-year history. Three of the circuit’s locations around the country played the movie for 24 hours, without ever closing (AMC Lincoln Square and AMC Fresh Meadows in NYC; Navy Pier IMAX at AMC in Chicago). To date this weekend, 53 locations ran Infinity War showtimes at either 2 AM or 3 AM to accommodate demand. And 13K showtimes and 1.8M seats are still available today.
Infinity War is the first major studio film to be shot in its entirety with Imax cameras expanding the aspect ratio by 26%.In U.S/Canada, the Russo brothers-directed pic earned $22.5M for the 3-day from 408 Imax screens (or 9% of Infinity War‘s weekend) which is the best Marvel debut for the large format exhibitor and their third biggest of all-time stateside after Force Awakens ($30M) and The Last Jedi ($24.7M). IMAX per screen average was a stellar $55K with eight of the top ten domestic runs being Imax locations, as well as the top 5.
Marvel first announced a two-part Infinity War in October 2014 with back-to-back filming of the sequels commencing on Jan. 23, 2017. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely’s screenplays for both parts of the movie draw from Jim Starlin’s 1991 The Infinity Gauntlet comic and Jonathan Hickman’s 2013 Infinity comic.
Here’s what the top pics look like per studio-reported figures for the weekend of April 27-29:
Bleecker Street’s Disobedience drew $241K at five New York and Los Angeles theaters for a $48K per theater, which ranks as the fourth best opening average for this year, after Isle of Dogs ($60K), Avengers: Infinity War ($55,8K), and Black Panther ($50K); it’s also the second best 2018 opening average for a non-major studio title. The pic premiered at TIFF last year and Bleecker scooped it up.
A weak result from a TIFF premiere last year? Why, that’s The Orchard’s Kings starring Daniel Craig and Halle Berry. The movie follows a South Central Los Angeles foster family weeks before the city erupts following the Rodney King trial. The pic pulled in $173K at 214 or $809 per theater.
Saturday AM: Industry estimates have Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War at $106.7M (including that $39M Thursday night) and $245.6M over three days, which would put the pic second behind the Star Wars: Force Awakens record opening of $247.9M. Numbers are much higher than what we saw last night, with a $237M start. Some even believe that Infinity War could beat Force Awakens ($247.9M), but a lot of that will depend on today’s momentum. Disney is being cautious not to call records reporting a $225M-$235M range on Friday, but rivals see Infinity War‘s opening well past that. Word of mouth is huge, with Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak reporting a massive 83% definite recommend, besting Captain America: Civil War‘s buzz (75%). Infinity War’s opening day is the second-best ever behind Star Wars: Force Awakens ($119.1M) and ahead of The Last Jedi ($104.7M), and easily sends Disney past the $1 billion mark on Friday, making it the fastest major studio ever to that B.O. threshold, reaching it in 117 days.
A look at the top pics this weekend, per industry estimates, for the weekend of April 27-29:
Why is this Avengers sequel not behaving like a fourthquel, filing behind Avengers ($207.4M), Avengers Age of Ultron ($191.2M) and Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M)? Some might say it’s because it stars all the Marvel superheros, but it’s much more than that. Fans know this is a huge jaw-dropping turning point in the MCU, and that’s what the driver is here, and word of mouth is being passed along. Disney can only hope that Star Wars: Episode IX builds up this much anticipation after leaving Luke Skywalker for dead and few cliffhangers in Last Jedi. CinemaScore is an overall A for Infinity War.
Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak scores are huge, showing 93% overall positive so far, which bests the positive score for both Avengers: Age of Ultron (90%) and Captain America: Civil War (88%). Five amazing stars for Infinity War. Audience makeup is 66% guys to 34% females, which is the same breakdown as Civil War. Fifty-eight percent are over 25 for Infinity War versus 51% over 25 for Civil War and 55% under 25 for Age of Ultron.
Current halo effect from Infinity War: Fandango reports that 36% of the pic’s Thursday night ticket sales were driven by the online ticket seller’s pre-sales, or $14M-plus. Roughly one out of every three Infinity War tickets yesterday were purchased on Fandango, with more than 2,500 showtimes selling out on their site before the film opened. Infinity War outsold Black Panther in pre-sales before opening night, with Fandango repping 30% of T’Challa’s $242M four-day opening, or $72M. In addition, Infinity War bested Fandango’s previous April pre-sales champ, Furious 7.
Over at MoviePass, they’re battening down the hatches before this summer blockbuster and others bleed them silly. We reported a while ago that they were going the route of four movies a month for $9.95 + iHeart digital service, but today subscribers received a note that they’re not allowed to see the same movie twice. Helios and Matheson Analytics CEO Ted Farnsworth told us recently that MoviePass isn’t worried about summer’s onslaught of big pics like Infinity War. “Due to the lack of seats, our subscribers typically don’t go on opening weekend because they can’t get in,” specifically given the last-minute purchase nature of the app. Rather, “They go second or third or fourth week. With an inventory of different movies, when we push one above the other, it turns out that the big ones aren’t a big threat.”
RelishMix reports that Infinity War on social media is breaking the Internet with the largest and most dynamic pic tracked in the company’s history. Infinity War‘s social media counts an overwhelming 2.1 billion followers and views, and that’s swelling daily. Even more impressive, none of these figures include any of Infinity War‘s sponsors, i.e. Quicken, etc. “This campaign has fully leveraged a film series ten years in the making, an immense cast that is either socially activated or fully participating in the promotional campaign, and perhaps most importantly, a fan base that is so engaged with the characters, storylines and comics that they make their own clips, costumes and materials to celebrate,” says RelishMix. Infinity War‘s 2.1B social media universe broken down consists of a near 357M on Facebook, 232M Facebook video views, 86.2M Twitter Followers, 1.2B YouTube Views and 221M Instagram followers. For comparison, the largest movie campaigns by SMU are Fate of the Furious (1.8B), Beauty and the Beast (1.3B) and Despicable Me 3 (1.2B). Infinity War‘s daily average YouTube views are off the charts with 131K; again, easily exceeding the genre’s typical 47K.
The leading social media stars for Infinity War include Robert Downey, Jr. with 60M across Twitter, FB and Instagram, as well as Christ Hemsworth and Chris Pratt, who are tied at 25M each. The Infinity War cast got together on The Tonight Show to sing their rendition of “The Brady Bunch” theme song, counting 4.1M views.
Shout out to Bleecker Street’s Disobedience, which is headed toward a $54,1K per theater from five bookings in New York and Los Angeles for a $270.5 K opening.That average is behind this year’s Isle of Dogs ($60K) and ahead of Black Panther ($50K). Bleecker scored US rights to the pic following its TIFF premiere. Disobedience centers around a rabbi’s lesbian daughter as she returns from New York to her Orthodox Jewish community in Hendon, London. The Rachel Weisz-Rachel McAdams movie is 90% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, a great score that will pull in sophisticated, older audiences.
UPDATED, Friday AM with studio number: And so summer begins early in late April. Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War scored $39 million Thursday night, making it easily the best Marvel preview number ever stepping over Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6M), and the fourth-best ever behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ first night ($57M), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($45M) and Harry Potter:Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($43.5M)
Earlier forecasts last night had pegged the number as high as $45M+, with some believing Thursday could go as low as $36M-$38M. Still, its a Marvel preview night record, making Infinity War another hit for the Teflon Marvel.
Why is this Avengers so big? Without spoiling anything — there’s a lot that goes down that impacts the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has fans left with their jaws open. This sequel from filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo, they cannot miss. This is beyond a bloody fight between Iron Man and Captain America as we saw in Civil War.
Previews started at 7 PM on Thursday, however, with some theater chains like AMC holding fan events starting at 6 PM with tchotchke handouts. Avengers: Infinity War opens today in 4,474 theaters — the widest release for a Disney title ever and the second-widest ever after Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 at 4,529.
The halo-effect of Infinity War is in full effect touching all parts of the cinema biz: All motion-seat 4DX locations are sold out for the weekend at its two New York and two Los Angeles theatres. For advance ticket seller Fandango, the Russo brothers movie is third-ever bestseller passing Rogue One and ranking behind Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. For mobile ticket pre-seller Atom Tickets, Infinity War is a record in regards to pre-sales volume 7% higher than The Last Jedi and 250% higher than Black Panther at the same point in their sales. Going into release week, tickets for Infinity War were doubling daily with Atom reporting that it’s the fastest rate of increase they’ve seen for any MCU title during release week.
Among big Marvel previews, Age of Ultron‘s Thursday repped close to 33% of its $84.4M opening day before seeing a $191.2M opening, while Black Panther with a $25.2M preview night also repped 33% of its $75.9M first day which yielded a $202M three-day weekend. Going further, Last Jedi‘s $45M translated to an amazing 43% of its $104.6M first Friday and a $220M opening weekend.
In its first day abroad, Infinity War made $39M.
More updates to come.